14 Feb Self-Loving Lately
“We have the power to create beauty, promote self-love, and inspire each other to do great things. I am not just a photographer. I am not defined by just one thing – I am many things and will become many more.”
By Kris Mae
* This was written and shared during Womyn’s History 2016, but we decided to share again, today. As its relevancy is an example of what we can create out of love. Though this is written by a womyn, for womyn, this applies to us all, as we are creators of our domain.
I couldn’t have picked a better day to write about this topic- it is International Women’s Day 2016. The funny thing? I didn’t plan it this way, it just happened to be the one day I had time to really meditate and transcribe my thoughts on what I love about being a woman. I have read SO many articles in the past year that women have written on the things they despise about being women- the terrors, the social setbacks, the inequalities – but today gives me the perfect inspiration to focus on the positive aspects of being a woman and really bask in the great things that not only make me a woman, but also make me who I am.
This process is, of course, periodically distracted by the occasional bleep of an incoming email, vibration of a text, the lure of online shopping… (and maybe a You Tube video splurge or two). I sit back and think “maaaan, if I could just concentrate” … and then it hits me- it is such an amazing time to be a woman. Almost everything in the world is at our fingertips- just a click away. If I need toilet paper, or run out of nail polish, or want to take discount self-defense lessons- it’s all right there. Being a woman got much easier in the past five years (thank you Amazon) and things are looking up from here. As a woman, I can do just about anything, be whatever I want, get whatever I need, delivered right to my apartment in less than an hour. Helllooooo Mini Bar App!
There were so many things I wanted to be growing up in rural Maine, a vet, an actress, a lobster woman (ugh, too much work!) but my career chose me, and before I even knew it, I was a photographer- just like my father and grandparents before me. I am so fortunate that I work as a full time artist and it actually pays my bills. It’s never easy, but the reward of working for yourself, doing what you were meant to do with your life and talents, is infinite. The most interesting part, it would have been difficult to exist during any other time period and do what I do. Photographers were generally male until the 1990’s, when strong women like Annie Leibovitz and Ellen Von Unworth started rocking the male-dominated boat.
I am completely aware of how lucky I am to be a female photographer during a time period that is not only socially acceptable, it also gives me an advantage on certain jobs over my male competitors. It is pretty incredible to think I was a small part of the equalizing of an entire industry during it’s most socially pivotal time in history. That fact makes me so proud to be a woman in this industry, and to have actively changed the general public’s opinion of who a photographer is and what they can be. I hope the young female photographers will know how tough it was to make a name for ourselves and be respected in this industry as artists and equals, and take on the continued task of learning and excelling at their craft. We have to work twice as hard, be twice as good, and hustle like the rent is due today (and it probably is, and it’s too damn high).
Though I love my career and my life, I am not done yet. There are other things I want to be, other things I want to do- and as a woman in the creative industry- there is no limit to my future. I think that in itself is one of the things I love most about being a woman: the ability to morph and change into the next phase of who we are with grace and strength. We have the power to create beauty, promote self-love, and inspire each other to do great things. I am not just a photographer. I am not defined by just one thing – I am many things and will become many more.
Follow @krismaephoto to check more of her visual work, inspiration and dedication to spreading love.
PHOTOGRAPHER. DESIGNER. NY…love and light…lifting others up…cheering others on…